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Faculty Detail    
Associate Professor
Campus Address BBRB 466 Zip 2170
Phone  (205) 996-7101
Other websites Thompson

Undergraduate  Oklahoma State University    1991  B.S. 
Graduate  University of Wisconsin-Madison    1998  Ph.D. 

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Microbiology  Microbiology Associate Professor
Center  Center for AIDS Research  Center for AIDS Research Associate Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Associate Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Ctr for Clinical & Translational Sci Associate Professor
Center  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders Associate Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Biochemistry and Structural Biology 
Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology 
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program 
Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics 
Integrative Genetics Graduate Program 
Medical Scientist Training Program 

Biographical Sketch 
Sunnie R. Thompson began her research career in the laboratories of Olin Spivey and Ulrich Melcher in the department of Biochemistry at Oklahoma State University where she completed her undergraduate studies (B.S. with honors). She received her Ph.D. in 1998 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where her graduate advisor and mentor was Marvin Wickens. She moved to California for a postdoctoral fellowship in Peter Sarnow's laboratory at Stanford University where she studied translation initiation of viral internal ribosome entry sites. Dr. Thompson joined the Department of Microbiology at UAB in July 2005.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Association for Cancer Research 
RNA Society 

Research/Clinical Interest
Translation initiation and replication of RNA viruses
Our research focuses on virus-host interactions and cellular mechanisms of translation initiation. In particular we are interested in how RNA viruses that contain internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) subvert host ribosomes to translate the viral proteins. Although IRESs were first discovered in viruses, it is now clear that IRES-mediated translation is utilized by cellular messages during mitosis, or cellular stresses such as apoptosis, hypoxia, or starvation. We study Dicistroviridae, Picornaviridae, Flaviviridae and cancer models utilizing a range of biochemical, genetic, molecular biology and cell biology approaches.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Olivares, E., Landry, D.M., Caceres, C.J., Pino, K., Rossi, F., Navarrete, C., Huidobro-Toro, J.P., Thompson, S.R., and Lopez-Lastra, M. (2014). The 5' untranslated region of the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 mRNA enables cap-independent translation initiation. J Virol 88, 5936-5955.  24623421 
Lenarcic EM, Landry DM, Greco TM, Cristea IM, Thompson SR. Thiouracil cross-linking mass spectrometry: a cell-based method to identify host factors involved in viral amplification. J Virol. 2013;87(15):8697-712.  23740976 
Hertz MI, Landry DM, Willis AE, Luo G, Thompson SR. (2013) Ribosomal protein S25 dependency reveals a common mechanism for diverse internal ribosome entry sites and ribosome shunting. Mol Cell Biol. 33(5):1016-26.   3623076 
Thompson SR. (2012). Tricks an IRES uses to enslave ribosomes. Trends in Microbiology. 20(11):558-66.  22944245 
Jack, K., Bellodi, C., Landry, D.M., Niederer, R., Meskauskas, A., Musalgaonkar, S., Kopmar, N., Krasnykh, O., Dean, A.D., Thompson, S.R., Ruggero, D., and Dinman, J. D. (2011). rRNA Pseudouridylation Defects Affect Ribosomal Ligand Binding and Translational Fidelity from Yeast to Human Cells. Mol Cell 44, 660-666.  22099312 
Hertz, M. I. and Thompson, S. R. (2011). In Vivo Functional analysis of the Dicistroviridae intergenic region IRESs. Nucleic Acids Research 39, 7276-88.  21646337 
Landry, D. M., Hertz, M. I., and Thompson, S. R. (2009). RPS25 is essential for translation initiation by a viral internal ribosome entry site. Genes & Development. 23, 2753-2764.  19952110 
Deniz, N., Lenarcic, E. M., Landry, D. M., and Thompson, S. R. (2009). Translation initiation factors are not required for Dicistroviridae IRES function in vivo. RNA. 15, 932-946.  19299549 
Fan-Minogue H., Du M., Pisarev A. V., Kallmeyer A. K., Salas-Marco J., Keeling K. M., Thompson S. R., Pestova T. V., Bedwell D. M. (2008). Distinct eRF3 requirements suggest alternate eRF1 conformations mediate peptide release during eukaryotic translation termination. Mol Cell 30, 599-609.  18538658 
Yeo, H., Beck, L. H., Thompson, S. R., Farach-Carson, M.C., McDonald, J. M., Clemens, T. L., and Zayzafoon, M. (2007). Conditional dysruption of calcineurin B1 in osteoblasts increases bone formation and reduces bone resorption. JBC. 282, 35318-27.  17884821 
Thompson, S. R. and Sarnow, P. (2003) Enterovirus 71 contains a type I IRES element that functions when eukaryotic initiation factor eIF4G is cleaved. Virology 315, 259-66.  14592777 
Jan, E., Thompson, S. R., Wilson, J. E., Pestova, T. V., Hellen, C. U., and Sarnow, P. (2001). Initiator Met-tRNA-independent translation mediated by an internal ribosome entry site element in cricket paralysis virus-like insect viruses. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 66, 285-92.  12762030 
Thompson, S. R., Gulyas, K. D., and Sarnow, P. (2001) Internal initiation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae mediated by an initiator tRNA/eIF2-independent internal ribosome entry site element. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 98, 12972-7. (Commentary: Hinnenbusch, A. G. Unleashing yeast genetics on a factor-independent mechanism of internal translation initiation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98, 12866-8.)  11687653 
Thompson, S. R. and Sarnow, P. (2000). Regulation of host cell translation by viruses and effects on cell function. Current Opinion in Microbiology. 3, 366-70.  10972496 

Host pathogen interactions, Mechanisms of viral translation, IRES, Picornaviruses, Flaviviruses, Ribosome, Translational mechanisms in Cancer